All season long, we’re tracking the top college football athletes by their top speed. Below are the results from our weekly tacking that indicate which players truly are College Football’s Fastest Players of the 2023 season.
College Football’s Fastest Players of 2023
Courtesy of our friends at Reel Analytics, the fastest ball carriers are tracked from every game across the country. To find out more about RA and how they track their data, find them below:
RAnalytics on Twitter | Reel Analytics via NetCapital
Find College Football’s Fastest Players every week this season: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9
College Football’s Fastest Players of 2023: By the Numbers
Before we get to the countdown, we did some tallying of the weekly results to see where the top speeds lie. Below are the breakdowns of each factor by how many times they appeared on the fastest players’ results.
College Football’s Fastest Players: By Conference
ACC: 19 times
B1G: 26 times
Big 12: 26 times
Pac-12: 29 times
SEC: 19 times
American: 12 times
Conference USA: 3 times
MAC: 6 times
Mountain West: 7 times
Sun Belt: 13 times
Independents: 6 times
FCS: 15 times
College Football’s Fastest Players: By School
Kansas: 5 times
Ohio State: 5 times
Oregon: 5 times
Colorado: 5 times
Louisville: 4 times
USC: 4 times
Marshall: 4 times
Kentucky: 4 times
Florida State: 4 times
Iowa: 4 times
Iowa State: 4 times
12 tied at: 3 times
College Football’s Fastest Players: By Position
RB: 83 times
WR: 65 times
DB: 19 times
QB: 12 times
TE: 1 time
QB: Jason Bean, Kansas: 22.4 mph (Week 9)
RB: Trey Benson, Florida State (Week 6) & Dylan Edwards, Colorado (Week 2): 22.0 mph
WR: Brandon Buckhaulter, UAB: 22.6 mph (Week 6)
TE: Trent Pennix, NC State: 20.6 mph (Week 6)
DB: Kapena Gushiken, Washington State: 22.4 mph (Week 6)
College Football’s Fastest Players: Most Appearances
Bucky Irving, Oregon: 4 times
Dylan Edwards, Colorado: 3 times
Jawhar Jordan, Louisville: 3 times
Jaydn Ott, Cal: 3 times
Rasheen Ali, Marshall: 3 times
Blake Watson, Memphis: 2 times
Jarquez Hunter, Auburn: 2 times
LaMareon James, Old Dominion: 2 times
Lorenzo Lingard, Akron: 2 times
Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State: 2 times
Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State: 2 times
RJ Harvey, UCF: 2 times
TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State: 2 times
Trey Benson, Florida State: 2 times
Xavier Worthy, Texas: 2 times
College Football’s Fastest Players: Most Appearances at 20.0+ mph
Dylan Edwards, RB, Colorado: 2 times
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: 2 times
Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 2 times
No other player has hit 20.0 mph or higher more than once in 2023.
- Dominic Dutton, WR, Old Dominion: 21.0 mph (Week 9)
- Chris Tyree, WR, Notre Dame: 21.0 mph (Week 9)
- Mishael Powell, S, Washington: 21.0 mph (Week 8)
- Ryan Cooper, CB, Oregon State: 21.0 mph (Week 7)
- Peny Boone, RB, Toledo: 21.0 mph (Week 6)
- Jamari Thrash, WR, Louisville: 21.0 mph (Week 3)
- Hunter Smith, RB, UL-Monroe: 21.0 mph (Week 1)
- Jaydn Ott, RB, Cal: 21.1 mph (Week 9)
- Haynes King, QB, Georgia Tech: 21.1 mph (Week 8)
- Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 21.1 mph (Week 6)
- Tahj Washington, WR, USC: 21.1 mph (Week 5)
- Kenny Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh: 21.1 mph (Week 4)
- AJ Green, RB, Arkansas: 21.1 mph (Week 3)
- Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: 21.1 mph (Week 3)
- Benjamin JaShon, RB, Rutgers: 21.1 mph (Week 2)
- Jeff Sims, QB, Nebraska: 21.1 mph (Week 2)
- Abraham Williams, CB, Weber State: 21.1 mph (Week 1)
- Blake Corum, RB, Michigan: 21.1 mph (Week 1)
- Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas: 21.2 mph (Week 9)
- Tyler Huff, QB, Furman: 21.2 mph (Week 8)
- Abu Sama, RB, Iowa State: 21.2 mph (Week 6)
- Jordan Watkins, WR, Ole Miss: 21.2 mph (Week 4)
- Chrishon McCray, WR, Kent State: 21.2 mph (Week 1)
- Blake Watson, RB, Memphis: 21.3 mph (Week 9)
- Jourdan Townsend, WR, Delaware: 21.3 mph (Week 8)
- Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy: 21.3 mph (Week 6)
- Joe Milton, QB, Tennessee: 21.3 mph (Week 3)
- Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon: 21.3 mph (Week 2)
T27) Dane Kinamon, WR, Air Force: 21.4 mph (Week 8)
Air Force WR Dane Kinamon hauled in the program’s longest-ever play from scrimmage on a 94-yard touchdown reception against rival Navy. He hit 21.4 mph on the reception, the longest-ever play in Navy’s home stadium.
T27) Jaquez Moore, RB, Duke: 21.4 mph (Week 8)
Giving FSU a scare, Jaquez Moore sprinted past the Seminoles’ defense on the outside to a near-touchdown run early in the first quarter. Moore reached 21.4 mph after he turned the corner impressively.
T27) Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU: 21.4 mph (Week 8)
It was a flat-out demolition for the LSU Tigers in Week 8 and Brian Thomas Jr. made mincemeat of the Army defense. He reached 21.4 mph on a go route that saw him outrun even defenders with proper angles.
T27) Demond Claiborne, RB, Wake Forest: 21.4 mph (Week 7)
In what was one of Wake Forest’s lone highlights from a Week 7 loss, Demond Claiborne flashed his high-end speed on a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown. Claiborne weaved through traffic in the middle before hitting the sidelines and reaching 21.4 mph to outrace every Virginia Tech defender.
T27) Donavyn Lester, RB, UNLV: 21.4 mph (Week 7)
There’s speed and then there’s speed. Donavyn Lester turned on the afterburners on a carry to the outside for UNLV, utilizing his vision and patience well, before sprinting past Nevada defenders. Lester reached 21.4 mph, seemingly easy along the sidelines.
T27) Lorenzo Lingard, RB, Akron: 21.4 mph (Week 4)
Seeing a career resurgence, Lorenzo Lingard has found a home at Akron. He’s no stranger to the big play and Lingard hit 21.4 mph on a long touchdown run against Indiana this week.
T27) Max Hairston, CB, Kentucky: 21.4 mph (Week 4)
Kentucky CB Max Hairston has impressed in 2023, picking off passes left and right. He uses his incredible instincts and elite athleticism to make highlight-reel plays look easy. Just like Hairston did on this pick-six against Vanderbilt when he hit 21.4 mph.
T27) Tobias Merriweather, WR, Notre Dame: 21.4 mph (Week 3)
You can’t guard a receiver with the size/speed combination that Tobias Merriweather has for long and Central Michigan found that out the hard way. Merriweather hit 21.4 mph on this touchdown reception at 6’4″, 204 pounds, mind you.
T27) Dylan Edwards, RB, Colorado: 21.4 mph (Week 1)
What a debut performance it was for the Colorado Buffaloes and what a game it was for Dylan Edwards. On this reception out of the backfield, Edwards hit 21.4 mph and sped past the entire TCU defense.
T21) Cartevious Norton, RB, Iowa State: 21.5 mph (Week 9)
It took him a minute, but Cartevious Norton broke through the Baylor defense. After shaking an arm tackle, Norton outran the entire Bears defense and hit 21.5 mph in the process.
T21) Sione Vaki, RB, Utah: 21.5 mph (Week 8)
Quickly becoming a household name with his dual-threat ability, Sione Vaki impressed once again for Utah in Week 8. He reached 21.5 mph on a reception where he flat-out burned his defender.
T21) Elic Ayomanor, WR, Stanford: 21.5 mph (Week 7)
You don’t beat an entire defense for 97 yards from scrimmage without real speed and that’s just what Elic Ayomanor did. Ayomanor burned his defensive back off the line, nabbed a slant pattern that was intended just to get some breathing room for his offense, and ran past the entire Colorado defense for 97 yards, hitting 21.5 mph as his max speed along the way.
T21) Sone Ntoh, RB, Monmouth: 21.5 mph (Week 5)
Torching Lehigh, Sone Ntoh and Monmouth ran wild on Saturday. Ntoh topped the charts at 21.5 mph on this long touchdown run that saw him simply outrun everyone on the field.
T21) Robert Lewis, WR, Georgia State: 21.5 mph (Week 3)
Going 98 yards is not easy, but when you possess the speed that Robert Lewis has, it sure looks like it. Lewis topped the charts at 21.5 mph on this near-record touchdown.
T21) Shilo Sanders, S, Colorado: 21.5 mph (Week 3)
That’s one way to put your name on the map as Shilo Sanders took a pick-six the distance in the dramatic victory against Colorado State. Sanders hit 21.5 mph on the touchdown.
T17) Anthony Gould, WR, Oregon State: 21.6 mph (Week 3)
We all knew Anthony Gould was fast, but after this screen pass turned touchdown, he’s even faster than we anticipated. Gould hit 21.6 mph on the radar with his touchdown.
T17) Jordan Waters, RB, Duke: 21.6 mph (Week 7)
On a carry that he almost didn’t need to, Jordan Waters put forth a truly special moment when he reached 21.6 mph for Duke. Riding their defense against NC State, Waters finally broke the Wolfpack defense with a carry up the middle that saw him bounce slightly outside and completely torch the NC State defense with his blazing speed.
T17) Chandler Rogers, QB, North Texas: 21.7 mph (Week 6)
Long-striding his way to the end zone, North Texas Mean Green QB Chandler Rogers gave Navy a taste of their own medicine in Week 6. Rogers skirted through the middle of the Midshipmen’s defense and blitzed through the second and third levels by reaching his max speed of 21.7 mph halfway through the 75-yard touchdown run.
T17) Ray Davis, RB, Kentucky: 21.7 mph (Week 5)
What a dominant showing it was for Ray Davis. In historic fashion, Davis ran all over the Florida Gators on Saturday, including this 75-yard touchdown run that saw Davis hit 21.7 mph in the process.
T12) Marcus Yarns, RB, Delaware: 21.8 mph (Week 9)
There is little defense for the speed that Marcus Yarns put on display in Week 9. Delaware’s running back took a screen pass the distance by hurdling over an arm tackle and outrunning the entire Towson defense with 21.8 mph as his top speed.
T12) Harrison Waylee, RB, Wyoming: 21.8 mph (Week 4)
Harrison Waylee was coveted in the transfer portal during the 2022-23 offseason and his speed was certainly a reason why. He impressed for Wyoming with this long touchdown run in which he topped the charts at 21.8 mph.
T12) Smoke Harris, WR, Louisiana Tech: 21.8 mph (Week 1)
There’s no catching Smoke Harris in the open field. A simple slant route became a long touchdown when Harris hit 21.8 mph against FIU.
T12) Barion Brown, WR, Kentucky: 21.8 mph (Week 1)
Barion Brown is fast, we all knew this. But now, after his kickoff return touchdown that all but iced the game against Ball State, we know he’s 21.8 mph fast.
T12) Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon: 21.8 mph (Week 1)
Bucky Irving kicked off his 2023 campaign with a bang. He skirted through the Portland State defense and topped out at 21.8 mph on this 52-yard touchdown run.
T8) Calen Bullock, S, USC: 21.9 mph (Week 8)
USC’s star safety reached his top speed quickly, napping a pick-six off Bryson Barnes and reaching a max of 21.9 mph on the return.
T8) Josiah Norwood, WR, UCLA: 21.9 mph (Week 2)
In the blink of an eye, UCLA WR Josiah Norwood changed the game for the Bruins. He slipped past the defense and hit a blazing 21.9 mph on this touchdown reception.
T8) Isaiah Sategna, WR, Arkansas: 21.9 mph (Week 3)
Both of Arkansas’ first two touchdowns against BYU came with impressive displays of athleticism and speed. Isaiah Sategna topped out at 21.9 mph on his punt return for a touchdown early against the Cougars.
T8) Dequan Finn, QB, Toledo: 21.9 mph (Week 6)
A long mesh point and a perfect read-option keeper from Toledo QB Dequan Finn was ultimately the difference-maker in Week 6. Finn pulled the ball and sprinted past the entire UMass defense, hitting 21.9 mph and giving the Rockets the lead back in the third quarter.
T6) Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 22.0 mph (Week 6)
Perhaps the most impressive top speed of the whole bunch is Benson’s 22.0 mph flat. At 6’1″ and 233 pounds, Benson reached even higher than his first mark on this list when he took a handoff from Jordan Travis and beat the defense to the outside on an 85-yard touchdown run. Benson single-handedly destroyed what looked to be a good angle by a Virginia Tech defender in the process.
T6) Dylan Edwards, RB, Colorado: 22.0 mph (Week 2)
For the second week in a row, Dylan Edwards checks in on our list of fastest ball carriers. Edwards outdid himself on this carry, reaching a whopping 22.0 mph against Nebraska.
5) Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: 22.2 mph (Week 2)
Arguably the best player in college football, Marvin Harrison Jr. showcased that he may also be in consideration for the fastest ball carrier in the country. Harrison Jr. hit 22.2 mph against Youngstown State, easily cruising to the end zone in track-star style.
4) Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina: 22.3 mph (Week 4)
At his size, Xavier Legette shouldn’t be able to move as fast as he does. And yet, Legette pulled away from the entire Mississippi State defense with what looked like the greatest of ease. Legette hit 22.3 mph on this long touchdown reception.
T2) Jason Bean, QB, Kansas: 22.4 mph (Week 9)
We’ll say this: Jason Bean was cookin’ on this touchdown run against Oklahoma. You could feel it, and even Bean himself knew he was up to something special when he crossed the goal line. Bean hit 22.4 mph on the touchdown run that sparked the Jayhawks over Oklahoma.
T2) Kapena Gushiken, DB, Washington State: 22.4 mph (Week 6)
He may not have even needed to reach his top speed, but Kapena Gushiken’s 22.4 mph on his interception return for a touchdown was certainly impressive. He tipped a Dante Moore pass to himself before nabbing the pick at the 12-yard line, sprinting past Moore and putting his Washington State Cougars team back on top, reaching max speed nearly right away.
1) Brandon Buckhaulter, WR, UAB: 22.6 mph (Week 6)
Blink and you would’ve missed UAB Blazers WR Brandon Buckhaulter. Taking a jet sweep from right to left, Buckhaulter came right at the TV angle, blew by USF defenders, and had more than enough speed to celebrate his 75-yard touchdown run from the 20-yard line he’d left the defense behind so far.